June 3, 2010 / 21 Sivan 5770
In response to the flotilla incident that ignited anti-Israel sentiment around the world, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky on June 1, 2010, implored Jewish Agency emissaries serving in Jewish communities around the world to join Israel’s public relations efforts to present Israel’s position regarding the recent confrontation at sea.
To help keep the message unified, 500 emissaries of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization throughout the world received a pamphlet detailing Israel's official response and fact sheets pertaining to the incident. These materials will also be distributed to heads of Jewish organizations including student organizations, youth movements, Zionist federations, and pro-Israel NGO’s.
“I have no doubt that the responsibility for the tragic sequence of events lies on the shoulders of the organizers and participants of the flotilla. They enlisted their efforts not for a humanitarian mission, but rather to defame Israel and clash with IDF soldiers. A group of people that stored weapons from the outset and attacks soldiers with a vengeance cannot call itself ‘a group of peace activists,’ wrote Sharansky in a special letter to the Agency emissaries.
"But much to our dismay, there has hardly been any expression in the world media of this angle of the incident, the Israeli angle," continued Sharansky. "In today's age, when the messages and pictures posted online reach every corner of the globe, shaping people’s perspective in a mere instant, we cannot just sit back idly. The crisis that has surfaced in the wake of the confrontation at sea obligates us to join the nation’s public relations effort. I call upon you to stand up against the hate propaganda and against the confusion that likely exists among Jewish communities and to present our side, the side of the State of Israel. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to express sorrow over the loss of human life during the incident, and to wish a speedy recovery to the wounded on both sides.”
Amos Hermon, head of the Jewish Agency’s Hasbara (Public Relations) Department, stated that “The Jewish Agency intends to equip its emissaries and the representatives standing at the front lines of Israel’s public relations campaign with the most updated materials. The materials include direct testimonies of the commando fighters and their officers, pictures and video clips that reflect the true intentions of the ‘peace activists’ and the weaponry they used.”